This Moroccan carrot and chickpea salad recipe is a hearty gluten-free and vegetarian meal in a bowl. Packed with spices, crunchy carrot, sweet dates and a honey lemon dressing you'll be making this salad again and again!
This vibrant shredded Moroccan carrot salad is one of my absolute favourites and is on regular rotation in our house throughout spring and summer.
While this Moroccan Carrot Salad makes a great side dish for a crowd, I often (okay, most of the time) eat it for lunch. It's also a great go-to easy, no-cook dinner, for those oh so hot summer days we enjoy (except when we're talking 40 degrees celsius plus) here in Brisbane. There's something about the combination of spices and the sweetness of the honey and dates that is so satisfying on a hot summers night.
If you want to speed things up you can grate the carrots using a grater blade in a food processor, however, I prefer the julienned carrot. Not only do I think it looks pretty, shredded and curled into a long thing ribbons, but the julienned carrots tend to retain more crunch than the food processor shredded carrots which tend to turn a bit soft and flaccid.
To make this Moroccan Carrot Salad vegan replace the honey with brown rice syrup, which is readily available in health food stores, and even some supermarkets (look in the health food section). Alternatively, soak 2 dates in boiling water and, when softened, drain, and throw into the dressing mixture and blitz in a food processor and process until smooth.
One final tip. Don't skip the flaked almonds. I've tried a multitude of nuts and seeds with this salad, and while toasted pistachios are nice, as are sunflower seeds, and pepitas I really do think flaked almonds work best. Their creamy crunchy nuttiness works so well to balance the sweetness of this salad.
Moroccan Carrot Salad with Chickpeas
- ¼ cup flaked almonds
- 4 large carrots
- ¾ cup cooked chickpeas
- 3 spring onions finely sliced
- 3 radishes halved and finely sliced
- 4 - 5 medjool dates chopped
- ½ cup mint leaves roughly torn
- 1 cup watercress or rocket arugala
- tbs juice of half a lemon around 2
- 1 tbs agave syrup or honey if vegan is not needed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp orange blossom water
- salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Place a frying pan over a low heat and add the flaked almonds. Cook, tossing occasionally, until lightly golden. Remove from the pan and leave to cool.
- Peel the carrots then use a julienne peeler to shred the carrots. Alternatively use a box grater or a grating attachment in a food processor. Place in a large bowl and add the chickpeas, spring onions, radishes, dates, mint and watercress. Toss to combine.
- For the dressing place all of the ingredients in a glass jar and shake to combine. Spoon the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. If serving as a side dish place in a serving bowl or platter and scatter the toasted almonds over the top otherwise divide between 2 bowls.